Monday, November 8, 2010

All that glitters...searching for El Dorado

Every time I go to a Mexican restaurant, I feel like I am on a quest.  Like a Spanish Conquistadore, I am searching for the El Dorado of Mexican dining - the perfect most delicious plate of spicy, tomatoey, corny, cheesy, goodness.  It's like I ate this perfect meal once in my childhood and I'm trying to recapture it, and this is what keeps me trying every Mexican place I can find.

It was this sick desire that drove me to Pepe's Coorparoo (433 Old Cleveland Road) in search of the holy grail of the Americas.

I arrived one quiet Sunday night brandishing the obligatory bottle of cheap red wine to accompany my scrumptious South American delight and was shown to a table in a room tackily decorated with terracotta tiles and kitschy Mexican furnishings.

After beginning the El Dorado quest in earnest and scrutinising the menu like Columbus scouring the Atlantic for the New World, I settled for the chimichanga.  I just love that word - it sounds like a party in your mouth where everyone is doing a special dance and singing "quando quando quando quando!" while shaking maracas.
That's right people, it's a deep fried burrito.  Now most Mexican food does tend to look like a deranged artwork created by a 2 year old on your plate, and this dish was no exception.  Not that it's a bad thing - looks aren't everything in Mexican cuisine in my opinion.

Looking at the dish, it was hitting all the right notes: the iceberg lettuce (being used in the only context that it should be ever be allowed - well that and san choi bau, oh and on a Maccers burger when you're hungover), the lashings of carbolicious refried beans, the red chilli sauce, the grated tasty cheddar and of course the crunchy fatty burrito filled with shredded beef stewed into oblivion.  I'm actually salivating while writing this...

But unfortunately, El Dorado eluded me again and my quest ended in disappointment.  The lettuce was wilting, the refried beans were tasteless and the burrito was bland. 

My husband ordered the chicken enchiladas.
It pretty much tasted the same as the chimichanga but with rice. 

All in all I was a crestfallen with my experience at Pepe's.  I think if all of the meals were about $5 less pricey I would have loved it though.  I just don't think you can conscionably charge over $20 for this stuff and they should cut that out right now.

But never fear, I will valiantly continue my quest for the fabled city of gold and maybe one day the shimmering mirage of Mexican food perfection will be MINE!
Pepe's Coorparoo on Urbanspoon


  1. I know exactly what you mean about that quest... I thought it was just me. Unfortunately, your comments are all too relevant for the other Mexican restaurants I've tried in Brisbane (and most other places) too. Sad but true. Perhaps I'm just too sober. The search continues...

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